Razz Poker Sit and Go Strategies
This article will go through some good strategy for sit and go tournaments, also known as sit n' go, SNG or just Sit & Go. These are special tournaments that usually consist of a small number of tables but can have some huge stakes involved. Basically, a sit and go tourney starts when a predetermined number of players decide to register and pay the buy-in fee to enter the tournament. Once enough people have joined, the tournament starts immediately. A regular tournament has a predetermined date set at some point in the future and usually allows hundreds or thousands of people to join, such as the WSOP Holdem event. Poker rooms such as PokerStars and Full Tilt have many razz sit n go's so check them out if you are interested. The strategy for sit and go is obviously different than normal ring games so read carefully so that you understand.
Usually in tournaments you will find that tight and aggressive playing style is frequent. Also, these sit and go games will usually have 1 or 2 tables but sometimes much more. The most important goal is to "make it into the money" or stay around long enough so that players lose and drop out. If you make it to the money, that means you will win some of the runner-up prize money, usually the cost of the buy-in plus a small profit. The ultimate goal is to actually win the grand prize and be the last one standing.
One very important thing that tournament and sit and go players should do is learn how to read players quickly. At the beginning of the game, many players will be conservative at first and very tight. If everyone is tight, your strategy should be to try taking the antes and bring-ins just like you would in a regular razz poker ring game. By doing this, you can build up a slight chip lead early in the game. If you have the least chips on the table, the big players will try targeting those with the "short stack". If you are the underdog, you will find with experience that catching up again is not so uncommon when you have loose and aggressive players constantly trying to get you out, which is a great advantage to win a few big hands with relatively average hands.
Now as I mentioned above, the most important goal in a sit n go tourney is to make it into the money, or the bubble as many would say. For instance, if you are playing in a 100 person tournament, 1st through 10th place might win some money. So the top 10 positions are known as the bubble. One huge thing you will always notice in a tournament is that it will start off slow and then people start dropping like flies a half hour later. Then as people start getting near the bubble, the game will dwindle down to a snail pace because no one wants to drop out right before the bubble. Everyone becomes extremely tight at this point.
Once the bubble has popped, everyone seems to have a sigh of relief and they become loose again since there is nothing to lose. Then the goal is to get higher up the ladder and eventually become the winner, but at least this task is less stressful since there is a guarantee that you be coming out with a profit whether you lose or not. Many times, things will get even tighter as more people drop out. As always when things get tight, you can take advantage of stealing the pots again as well as bluffing. If the blinds start rising, so will the bring-in bet, so bluffing will become even more profitable as long as no one else figures it out.
Also, fewer people will remain so even if you have low ranking hands, your chances of winning are much higher. So in one way, this is a great opportunity to become a little more aggressive or loose in your strategy as well. If you are too conservative, you might slowly fade off after folding on all of the blinds or waiting too long trying to get the strongest hand without taking any big bets. This pretty much concludes this sit and go tournament so I would advise anyone to try out some of the free tables and get some practice there and move up into the micro-limit stakes. Always start at lower stakes if you are just starting out and then move upward.